Christmas may come only once a year, but it always comes early for viewers of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, and 2021 is no exception. Hallmark Channel kicks off the holiday season celebrations Friday night with the launch of their annual "Countdown to Christmas" programming event, followed by the start of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' returning "Miracles of Christmas" event on Saturday. With 41 original holiday premieres across all platforms (including streaming service Hallmark Movies Now, which will host its own programming event, "Movies & Mistletoe"), the impending holiday season couldn't be brighter.
This year Hallmark Channel is pulling on our nostalgic heartstrings by reuniting some favorite castmates from iconic shows like The Wonder Years (the original), Desperate Housewives and Fuller House, along with beloved movies like Back to the Future.
Kicking off "Countdown to Christmas" Friday is network favorite Danica McKellar, who reunites with her former Wonder Years co-star Jason Hervey for You, Me & The Christmas Trees, also starring Benjamin Ayres. (Ayres, McKellar and Hervey are pictured above, left to right.)
On Saturday, Catherine Haena Kim (FBI) finds herself haunted by familiar ghosts in Boyfriends of Christmas Past, co-starring Raymond Ablack (Ginny & Georgia) and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Kim's Convenience). (Ablack and Kim are pictured below.)
Rounding out the weekend on Sunday is The Santa Stakeout with Tamera Mowry-Housley as a detective, reluctantly partnered with fellow detective Ryan (Paul Campbell), both assigned to solve a string of heists that happen during high-profile holiday parties around town. Joe Pantoliano also stars. (Campbell, Mowry-Housley and Pantoliano are pictured below, left to right.)
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' "Miracles of Christmas" programming event begins with the premiere of Christmas In My Heartstarring Heather Hemmens (Roswell, New Mexico), Hallmark regular Luke Macfarlane (pictured at top with Hemmens) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (Christmas Comes Twice).
Throughout the next few weeks many familiar Hallmark faces will grace screens including Ryan Paevey, who teams with Janel Parrish for Coyote Creek Christmas on October 30. Holiday favorite Alison Sweeney joins Brennan Elliott on November 12 for Open by Christmas, while Next Stop, Christmas, on November 6 reunites Back to the Future stars Lea Thompson and Christopher Lloyd for another time travel tale as Angie (Lyndsy Fonseca) wonders what life might look like if she'd married a now-famous former boyfriend and finds herself 10 years in the past while visiting her family. Then on November21 there's the epic reunion of Desperate Housewives alum James Denton and Teri Hatcher in A Kiss Before Christmas. The magical what-if tale finds the formerly married Housewives couple together again thanks to a casual wish. Marilu Henner also stars.
Look for new holiday fare from perennial Hallmark Channel Christmas stars Lacey Chabert, Candace Cameron Bure and Kimberly Williams-Paisley, who co-stars with her sister Ashley Williams in two aptly titled films, Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday and Sister Swap: Christmas in the City. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has Caroline Rhea (pictured above), Kaitlin Doubleday and Steve Lund in Debbie Macomber's A Mrs. Miracle Christmas and Holly Robinson Peete in The Christmas Bond. Hallmark Movies Now has teamed Erin Cahill and Wes Brown for the premiere of Every Time a Bell Rings.
Even more Hallmark family talent is returning between now and Christmas, including Merritt Patterson, Aimee Teegarden, Andrew Walker, James Tupper, Eloise Mumford, Brett Dalton, Tina Lifford, Trevor Donovan, Sarah Power, Laura Vandervoort, Niall Matter, Nikki Deloach, David Haydn-Jones, Marisol Nichols, Paul Greene, Taylor Cole, Carlo Marks, Jessy Schram, Brendan Penny, Laura Osnes, Megan Park, Jamie Gray Hyder, Casey Deidrick, Kristoffer Polaha, Brooke D'Orsay, Katherine Barrell, Ashley Newbrough, Ryan Rottman, Rachael Leigh Cook and Travis Van Winkle.
Hallmark Channel's continuing movie franchises are also covered via The Nine Kittens of Christmas, a follow-up to 2014's The Nine Lives of Christmas, which sees original cast members Kimberley Sustad, Brandon Routh and Gregory Harrison returning. The story of the Mitchell family in last year's wildly successful The Christmas House continues in The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls on December, 18, with Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora, Treat Williams, Sharon Lawrence, Jonathan Bennett and Brad Harder reprising their roles. (Buckley, left, and Bennett are pictured above.)
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has a new Godwinks movie, along with Time for Them to Come Home for Christmas, the fourth movie from executive producer Blake Shelton, based on his song Time for Me to Come Home.
In addition to all those familiar faces, 2021 will usher in a slew of talented new faces to the Hallmark networks by way of American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Ashleigh Murray (Riverdale), Loretta Devine (Waiting to Exhale), Luke James (The Chi), Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child), Basil Wallace (Blood Diamond), Chandler Massey (Days of Our Lives), Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Terry O'Quinn (Lost), Stuart Townsend (Salem), Lyriq Bent (She's Gotta Have It), Nik Sanchez (The Rookie), Brittany Ishibashi (Runaways) and John Brotherton (Fuller House), to name just a few.
To complete the holiday mood, Hallmarkies may open a bottle of one of Hallmark's successful signature wines or brew a cup of tea from The Republic of Tea's Countdown to Christmas collection.
The "Countdown to Christmas" event commences Friday, October 22 at 8 pm. on Hallmark Channel, while "Miracles of Christmas" begins Saturday, October 23 at 10 p.m. on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
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